New Indications Show How Gastric Bypass Lowers Diabetes

by Mark Benson on October 12, 2011

How Gastric Bypass Causes Diabetes Remission

For morbidly obese individuals, one of the ways to aggressively combat possible complications is through gastric bypass surgery. This involves reducing the stomach’s abilities through stapling or banding.

One of the observations post-surgery is the improvement of blood sugar control with many cases of individuals suffering from Type 2 diabetes into remission. This phenomenon of lowering blood sugar though remained a puzzle until now.

A recent study has found that circulating amino acids that contribute to insulin resistance would decline dramatically after gastric bypass surgery. A small study involving ten obese individuals suffering from the condition who had undergone the surgery was compared to individuals with diabetes who lost weight only through dieting and exercise.

According to Dr. Blandine Laferrere, Associate Professor of Medicine at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University observed, “Something happens after gastric bypass that does not happen so much after the diet-induced weight loss.”

The theory is that through the reduction of the stomach’s size and modification of the junction between the stomach and the small intestine, amino acids that promote insulin resistance are reduced dramatically.

The researchers evaluated biochemical compounds that are active metabolic reactants. Each group had lost nearly twenty pounds and bypass patients had lower levels of branched chain amino acids together with lower levels of phenylalanine and tyrosine.

Laferrere adds, “The fact that gastric bypass results in the remission of diabetes in the majority of patients is not new. Those changes in the amino acids could be implicated in the mechanism of diabetes remission after gastric bypass.”

She does however warn that individuals suffering from diabetes should not pick surgery over diet and exercise. The surgery is highly invasive and the slow healing metabolism characteristic of a diabetic poses a major concern for the procedure. She further added that only after greater understanding how the surgery relates to the amino acid reduction, a better regimen of diabetes treatments might be developed in the future.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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